At the opening of the 5th Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, organized by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and supported by National Parks Board (NParks), NParks announced a new series of partnerships and projects to support marine conservation in Singapore.
A new 230-metre-long Ocean Network Express Coastal Forest Trail will be built, supported by a donation of $1 million from Ocean Network Express (ONE), through NParks’ registered charity and IPC, Garden City Fund. The trail will bring visitors through coastal habitats on Big Sister’s Island, one of the islands within Sisters’ Islands Marine Park in Singapore.
Habitat enhancement will also be carried out in the area surrounding the trail through the planting of critically endangered coastal species such as Putat Laut (Barringtonia asiatica) and Penaga Laut (Calophyllum inophyllum), which provide shelter for bird species such as the critically endangered Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana) and Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo).
The trail will culminate in a hilltop view deck, which will offer visitors scenic views of the neighbouring offshore islands and a vantage point for birdwatching. This will help enhance visitors’ experience of the island and create greater awareness of the importance of the various coastal and marine habitats in Singapore. In addition, it will help highlight the important ecosystem services like shoreline protection these habitats provide.
The trail will be opened to the public when the enhancement works to Sisters’ Islands Marine Park are completed in early 2024.